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October 8, 2011 at 2:24 PM

Sounders FC 2, New England Revolution 1, player ratings

jaqua ne.jpgPhoto credit: Elsa, Getty Images

Oh yeah, the New England game. I’ve been meaning to get to these earlier, but a little thing called the U.S. Open Cup final was a bit of a distraction.

A welcome one, too, as last Saturday’s match wasn’t pretty at all. Lot of long balls. Possession was poor. If not for the red-hot Fredy Montero and some really poor attempts at finishing by the struggling hosts it would’ve been a much different result.

Despite the flaws, it was a win, on the road, with a shuffled lineup — there can’t be too many complaints about that. Let’s get to it.

* * *

STARTERS

GK Kasey Keller — Another strong showing with six more saves. Had a big 1v1 stop on Ryan Guy in the first half and a strong save on a tricky free kick that was bouncing to the far post. Did miss a punch save on what should’ve been a goal early on, but the flag was up for offside (incorrectly in my opinion). Couldn’t be asked to do much on the Fagundez goal. A lot of New England’s shots in the second half were weak or poor and didn’t test him much. 7

D/M Roger Levesque — We talked about him playing right back in preseason and he finally got his first start there. It had to be expected that he wouldn’t be entirely comfortable in a new position. Had some tense moments in the back, including getting beat by Tierney for a late shot. Was comfortable making runs forward and had some decent moments in the attack. I wonder if the experiment will continue as it looked like Seattle played a 3-5-2 at the end with him in midfield. 5

D Zach Scott — Very strong in the air with 10 headers won, a game high for defenders. His 17 clearances were the most by anyone on the night. Conceded some dangerous free kicks and had some nervy moments on the ball, but looks much more comfortable in the middle than on the right, I feel. 6

D Patrick Ianni — Physical and won a good amount of header and clearances. Was troubled by the speedy Fagundez a couple times, including the play that set up Guy’s 1v1. Didn’t complete a lot of passes. Did have the long ball that initiated the buildup to Montero’s first goal. 5.5

D Tyson Wahl — I thought he had a consistent night on both ends of the field. Strong defensively and active on the left flank. Nearly had an assist, but Montero’s header was saved by Reis on the goal line. 6

M Servando Carrasco — Had some good moments defensively, but was only credited with 42 touches (a team low for a starter). Thought he could’ve been more involved and helped hold the ball in the middle a little more. Took a good corner kick that found Scott and another good cross that found Jaqua. 5

M Alvaro Fernandez (off 45) — Perhaps he hadn’t quite recovered from playing 90 minutes a couple days earlier in Guatemala, because I didn’t think he was very effective. Didn’t create much danger and lost the ball too much. Lost his mark Fagundez on the corner kick for the goal allowed. Came off at halftime. 4

M Erik Friberg (off 79) — Also would’ve expected him to have more than 44 touches in the middle. Had some clever, incisive chips and passes in the offensive third that were very creative. Won a few 50-50 balls and got involved in some good combinations, but you would’ve liked to see him on the ball more. 5

M David Estrada — Got the second start of his career and I thought he was a shot of life on the right flank. Very active and willing to take risks. Had some good crosses (including one that an open Jaqua headed wide) and moments of possession. His blocked shot set up the buildup to Montero’s second goal. 6.5

F Fredy Montero (off 68) — Make that four goals in two games. The first was an incredible finish after Cochrane’s mistake. The second was a result of great instincts and positioning. Could’ve had a third if not for a diving save by Reis. On a night where his team struggled, he was a difference in three points. Earned a yellow card, which means he’s suspended vs. Philadelphia. 8

F Nate Jaqua — Extremely active and his 96 touches were a team high. Had a couple of bad, wide-open misses to continue a long MLS scoreless streak, but it’d be lazy to judge his performance solely on those two moments. I thought his holdup play was extremely well. Very good at winning and keeping possession. He was a great target and won a game-high 12 headers. Helped set up both goals, first by winning a header in the offensive third that Cochrane misplayed, then by winning a 50-50 ball in the box. Also tracked back and contributed defensively. 6.5

SUBSTITUTES

M Lamar Neagle (on 45) — Came on at halftime and had a decent impact on both sides of the ball. Helped kill some time late. 5.5

F Mike Fucito (on 68) — Pace is always a cause for concern for defenders, especially when he comes on fresh and they’re a little tired. 5.5

M Osvaldo Alonso (on 79) — Influential even in the short cameo. Helped settle things in the middle. INC

COACH SIGI SCHMID

To get three points with a new-look, reserve-laden lineup is pretty impressive. Managed to start Fernandez and Montero while still keeping them available for Tuesday. The play wasn’t pretty, but it was never going to be with the changes. A win on the road in those circumstances strengthens a case for MLS Coach of the Year. 8

REFEREE JORGE GONZALEZ

I rarely noticed him. Maybe a couple times for a soft foul or when I thought Zerka deserved a booking, but he really did well to control the game and stay out of the way. No complaints from me. 7.5

* * *

Any thoughts?

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